Friday, October 30, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Blue Sun

Olympus Pen E-P1 at 42mm

Saw this through my car windscreen's tinted glass one day while the sun is setting. Found it interesting so I took a shot of it. Just a little contrast adjustment before posting it up. It's really such a joy and inspiration to have a capable camera small enough to carry with you everywhere you go for recording stuff you see. During film days, I was born in an average family with not much pocket money to spare on films and such indulgence is unthinkable! Thank God for the digital technology when we can experiment all we want and practise our visualization. And thank God for the internet where we can easily share our images. An image unshared is like an image never taken!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Photography, Is it really ART?


Why does a piece of painting always worth more than a photograph in an art gallery?

Let's look at the original intention of the invention of the camera. It is undeniable that the purpose of documentary cannot be separated from photography since the camera was invented. 

To bring photography to a ART level, the photograph produced has to justify beyond what technology can produce to what a true artist's imagination and creativity produces. Simply put, it's a photograph that shows how imaginative and creative the photographer is rather than how capable the camera or lens is. 

Man Smoking-Abstract

However, history has more or less proven that no matter how great a photograph is, it can hardly call for a higher price than a piece of painting in a gallery. The fact is, photography can never be on the same standing as painting. Reasons could be that commercially, in terms of demand from collectors, it never matches the same demand for paintings. More collectors would choose to hang a beautiful painting in their living hall compared to a fine art photograph, for example. And famous precious photographs taken by war journalists for example, will never reach the walls of a collector's home. Not unless the collector is a passionate photography enthusiast of course. But still, who would want to hang a war photograph at home? Generally speaking, a photograph can hardly sell at a higher price than a painting.

Photographers always face the struggle to be recognized as artists. But why aren't the painters? Because they are true artists. Take the brush away from the painter and a true painter can still paint with his fingers or toes. But take the camera away from the photographer, all he's left with are images in his head like any others. (Although jokingly, some photographers think so highly of themselves as artists that they think they can still shoot with their hearts and minds, accompanied with songs and poems maybe? I'd rather not live in delusion!)

Every human being on earth record millions of images in his mind as "photographs" daily. Take the camera away from a photographer and he no longer can create "ART" as an artist. Unlike a true painter, he probably can still paint with his body parts, using elements from the nature and his environment. The same goes for true musicians. They can make music anywhere, anyhow, using their voices, using trash bin covers, using anything they can find from their surroundings. See the unfortunate setback of a photographer now?

Man at work

Photography has always struggled to stand on it's own as "ART". No matter how we try to escalate it's position to "ART", you can never take away it's original form which is to document things as they are. Photography has contributed greatly to crime-solving, scientific development, medical researches, etc. and etc... ... that without which the world will not be what it is today. We will also always remember war is ugly because of a war photograph we have seen. The value of documentary, shooting things as they are, using images for researches, solving crimes, etc., in which none are totally ART, cannot be forgotten. If we measure values, these contributions are of a far more noble and immeasurable kind than any great fine art photograph ever produced. 

Man sleeping

So, is photography ART?
To me, yes, it is.
But I also just realized that I shall never try to escalate it's position higher than what it actually is.
I should not think of myself too highly as an artist. I should not always label myself as an artist. I am not always an artist when I shoot. I should not categorize photographers into "artists and non-artists groups". Photography has it's original calling which is to benefit mankind, whether aesthetically or scientifically. Photography is self-therapy. Photography is a medium for self-expression and understanding oneself. Photography is for everyone. Photography the ART is for EVERYONE!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

How to make sucky picture ART

Some of my facebook friends have been discussing lately about our wives/girlfriends being photographers. One complains his wife just can't shoot like the others' wives. The following is a shot by my wife. She ain't that good like some think she is. Let's see how we can make our wives look like artists.
Actual Shot 

After Editing: 
Title: God's Hand
Synopsis: A study of the Invisible, some call it spiritual, unseen.
Artist's Statement: God is a deity in theistic and deistic religions and other belief systems, representing either the sole deity in monotheism, or a principal deity in polytheism.[1]
God is most often conceived of as the supernatural creator and overseer of the universe. Theologians have ascribed a variety of attributes to the many different conceptions of God. The most common among these include omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence... ... ... ... READ MORE

Monday, October 12, 2009

Quote used By Olympus

I am privileged to have my quote used by Olympus for their newest local newspaper advertisements nationwide. Just to clarify, I am no spokesman or celebrated photographer of Olympus. I am just a common Olympus user like any others. And I definitely do not receive any monetary benefits or free cameras from Olympus. I bought all my Olympus cameras with my own money and write all about Olympus with sincere truthfulness based on my actual experiences using the cameras.

Olympus is a brand often overshadowed by the big names like Nikon and Canon. Let us not forget Olympus has a legendary history in designing and making cameras! For example, a 1973 Olympus OM-1 is so much better-designed than the Nikon FM 2. And who started the half-frames? Olympus! Check out the legendary Olympus Pen FT. These are just some of the amazing histories.

I am a fan of mechanical perfection. Leica, Rolex, you name it. I love cameras which are designed with photographers' fussiness in mind. For example, Nikon's user features often exceed a professional photographer's requirements. Olympus cameras are designed to optimize image quality to it's best straight out of cameras to minimize photographers' post-editing work. Olympus believes that a photographer should spend time shooting without too much fuss over camera settings and post-processing. Olympus believes in photography as a ART form, and that cameras should reduce our technical burden. If you like a camera with lots of settings to play with (in that you probably are a true geek), try Nikon. Different people enjoy photography in different ways. As for me, I'd rather spend time shooting than editing.

Olympus? Just a personal choice. Try it!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Spotted! Good Friend's New Purchase!

What a small world! Just like the Disney's song that goes..."It's a small small world..." Haha...
I was in Mid Valley on 5 Oct Monday and with thousands of people hanging out in Kuala Lumpur's largest shopping mall, there I spotted CW, my friend buying the supposedly one and only piece in Kuala Lumpur at the moment: Canon 45mm Tilt and Shift lens! It seems that this lens is out of stock everywhere, even in Singapore. Why? Ask Canon!

And so, I whipped out my E-P1 and start documenting this "big buyer's purchase". (ask YL Camera Supplies and you know who he is)

I just couldn't resist mentioning this piece of speciality lens which is often used for architecture shots to correct perspectives. You can also create Miniature Effects with this lens, making everything seems like miniature toys and figures. Fun!

Well, for those of you like me, who's not so loaded with cash... haha.. stick to your photoshop perspective controls or just get a lensbaby like me. For now, I shall stick to my lensbaby and my view camera while ogling at his lens. For the geeks and the equipment enthusiasts, click here to see some sample shots he has done. He's the best person to ask in terms of what equipment to buy.

"If you want to change your photographs, you need to change cameras. Changing cameras means that your photographs will change. A really good camera has something I suppose you might describe as its own distinctive aura."
-- Nobuyoshi Araki

"But only if you have spare cash!" 
-- David Chua

Sunday, October 04, 2009